SPORT 1913 - 2013


Editor Kalevi Olin


1913-2013 Editor Kalevi Olin

A Festschrift Book in Honour of International Workers and Amateurs in Sports Confederation (CSIT)


“They believed in peace, democracy, equality and solidarity – even in sport for all.”


Vienna 2013 preface

No one can be sure of what really happens in the world and in which direction the develop- ment of the society will be running. This statement fits with the past as well as with the future of the International Workers and Ama- teurs in Sports Confederation (CSIT). The or- ganization has faced and experienced huge changes of society during its hundred year history. However, the core principles of con- tributing to physical activity and sports have stayed in its action policy: it is a right of man and woman to practice sport by his/her own conditions. The key concept of the CSIT’s sport poli- cy has always been sport for all. Its contribu- tion has been engraved on the cornerstone of the organization, along with peace, democra- cy, equality and solidarity as guiding values. This is the legacy from the early predecessors to their successors. The CSIT leadership considered several ways to celebrate the centennial history of the organization. These included sport events, seminars and anniversary meetings. In addi- tion, a decision was made to get a process go- ing to produce a Festschrift Book in honour of the world organization and the work of its pre- decessors. In the modern world, family roots play a role. By studying them it is possible to get new and sometimes even astonishing in- formation about our past. This is certainly true for the CSIT, too. The proverb says: the


man who forgets his past is not able to under- stand his present state and therefore has no future. But what is the future? It is the place where all of us will spend the rest of our lives. As the editor of the book I want to thank the Executive Committee of the CSIT for their invitation in March 2011 to the duty. In May 2011 I was asked to prepare a proposal on prin- ciples, contents, writers and schedule of the book. The Executive Committee accepted it in June 2011. Invitations were sent to distin- guished writers to take part in the project. Ev- eryone accepted it with a great pleasure. Warm-hearted thanks to all of you for your fruitful contribution. Writers will be intro- duced to the readers at the end of the book. Editorial board consisted of Mr. Harald Bauer from Austria (ASKÖ), Ms. Emmanuelle Bonnet Oulaldj from France (FSGT), Mr. Wolf- gang Burghardt from Austria (ASKÖ), Mr. Wim Hoeijenbos from the Netherlands (NCS) and Mr. Kalevi Olin from Finland (TUL/CSIT) as a chairperson. I thank the editorial board members for their input. Furthermore, I want to address my most sincere gratitude to specific persons and insti- tutions. Without the support of President Harald Bauer and General Secretary Wolfgang Burghardt from the CSIT office in Vienna I could not have been able to carry out my duty. Everytime I asked for their help and advice, they gave it immediately and reliably. Profes-

sor La Martine da Costa from Brazil, I thank for productive discussions in conjunction with the CSIT 2011 Congress in Rio de Janeiro in October. His innovative approach of the book project has been of great value. In addition, I thank the executive officers of the CSIT mem- ber organizations for the information they gave me while collecting empirical data about organizational structures. Several times The INDET and COPADET President Jorge Gonzales Meza from Mexico sent me important data about the CSIT’s collaboration with Americas which I couldn’t find anywhere. It was also the case with the data I received by e-mails and interviews from the MKSO President Boris Rogatin, the Rossiya President Gennadi Chibayev and his former Secretary of Interna- tional Affairs Mr. Nikolai Burov concerning the Russian member unions of the CSIT. Ms. Aira Rajavuori Ludvigsen from Swe- den helped me to get information about the Swedish RSLU. The Honorary Member of the CSIT Mr. Avigdor Dagon from HAPOEL fur- nished me with his long worker sport experi- ence and kind help in several stages of the writing process. Ms. Minna Jurvanen Bagda- sarov and Mr. Kari Vesterinen both from Fin- land translated texts from Russian to Finnish. General Secretary Mr. Janne Ollikainen and his personnel at the TUL office in Helsinki Finland always offered their help when I needed it. The same was true with the Sports

Museum of Finland and its archivist Ms. Mer- ja Vilen at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. Furthermore, I thank the former Vice Director of the Foundation of the Helsinki Stadium and the former Editor in Chief of the TUL Magazine, Mr. Pekka Hurme for his kindness and sincere help when checking the sports archives in the Sports Museum of Finland. The editor and the writers have taken their duties on voluntary bases. A necessary financial support has been given for the travel and material costs of the project by the CSIT office in Austria, the TUL in Finland and the People’s Educational Fund of Finland. For that, many thanks are addressed to them. For the cover design and graphical art- work I thankMr. José Coll fromStudio B.A.C.K. in Vienna, Austria. Pictures of the book have been selected from the ASKÖ photo archives by Mr. Harald Bauer, the Member of the Edito- rial Board. He has written the words describ- ing the pictures. Most sincere thanks for that. Professor Léa Six from Montpellier, France has proofread and corrected the Eng- lish language in this copy. The editor is grate- ful for her contribution. The content of the book comprises arti- cles by the writers. The topics of consideration have been defined by the editor in mutual un- derstanding with the authors. As it is the hab- it every writer is responsible for his/her text and the editor for his editorial work.



table of contents

Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4

Part One: Framework for Consideration

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 11 Kalevi Olin (Finland) SPORT AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON – BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 17 Joseph Maguire (United Kingdom) SPORT AND PEACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 33 Bruce Kidd (Canada) CONFLICT AND DIVERSITY – IS THERE A ROLE FOR SPORT? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 49 Marion Keim (South Africa) WORKER SPORT AS A MASS MOVEMENT – A SOCIOLOGICAL OUTLINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 65 Nicola Porro (Italy) VIEW TO THE HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL WORKERS SPORTS CONFEDERATION (CSIT) . . . . . . . . . . . . page 87 Seppo Hentilä (Finland) REVISITING THE STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE CSIT – A 20 YEARS FOLLOW-UP STUDY . . . . . page 107 Kalevi Olin (Finland) IS WOMAN THE FUTURE OF SPORT? FRANCE AS AN ILLUMINATIVE EXAMPLE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 129 Emmanuelle Bonnet Oulaldj (France) INTERNATIONAL SPORTS COLLABORATION AND FUTURE PARTNERSHIPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 143 Harald Bauer (Austria) Part Two: Origins of the CSIT, its Current State and Future Partnerships

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

A Short Introduction of the Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 159


Pure Amateurism has always been the basis of the Workers Sport Movement.







part one_CHAPTER 1

“In 1925, a year after the Paris Olympic Games, 150,000 workers attended the first Worker Olympics at Frankfurt amMain. In 1931, one year before the Los Angeles “official” Olympic Games at which 1,408 athletes competed, over 100,000 workers from 26 countries took part in the second Worker Olympics at Vienna. More than quarter-million spectators attended the Vienna Games. Five years later, in opposition to the Nazi Olympics at Berlin, a more grand Worker Olympics was planned for Barcelona; however, it never took place....” “Only the Olympic Games, however, are commemorated in hosts of books in every town library, on radio and in films that glorify the exploits of Nurmi, Owens, Abrahams, and Liddell;….”

James Riordan (1996, vii) In: Kruger, A. & Riordan, J. (eds.) The Story of Worker Sport. Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL.

ASKOE – Austria is one of the traditional members of the CSIT with more than 120 years of history.



The title and the contents of the Festschrift book can be defined in several ways. Why does this book focus on sport as part of a peace movement and conflict solving? Would it not be more convenient just to penetrate the his- tory of a world sport organization celebrating its centennial development? The answer could be lying in the grand value of peace and its relevance in the international worker sport. Peace was regarded as very crucial among the founders of the movement. It is still the same today for the current members of the organi- zation. The reason for this is simply the fact that pioneers of the worker sport deeply want- ed and wished that all people involved in sports and physical activities as well as the na- tions of the world could live their ordinary life in peaceful circumstances. “No More War” was the slogan of the Worker Olympics in Germa- ny in 1925. The founders had faced and expe- rienced the horrors and consequences of the First World War. The Nazi regime and Fascism in Europe before and during the Second World War destroyed worker sport in many countries in Europe. Thus, based on this kind of reali- ties, the concept and the movement of peace have been chosen as a main consideration for the first part of the book. The second part de- scribes the centennial development of the in- ternational worker sport. It is known that the development of sport is related to the change of society and its so- cial and political structures. Sport plays an important role in modern society. This role depends on how sport is defined and how it is

considered as a social phenomenon. It is known, too, that the industrialization, urban- ization and globalization have influenced so- ciety in many ways. Among other things, in- dustrialization catalysed the establishment of the worker sport in Europe, Canada, the Unit- ed States, South America and Asia. In its early stage of development at the end of the 19 th century, industrialization created a new work- ing class. The daily working hours in factories varied from 10 up to 14 hours. Workers had neither much time nor possibilities to take part in sport and leisure activities. Most of their free-time was spent recovering from the burden of physical work as well as taking care of other family duties. It is astonishing to notice how little is written and even known about worker sport in different countries. Therefore, the contribu- tion of Arnold Kruger and James Riordan 1 as editors and writers is very significant to the field. In 1996, along with other authors, they published a book entitled The Story of Worker Sport. It is considered as the first concise his- tory of worker sport in the world. The origins of the International Workers and Amateurs in Sports Confederation (CSIT) stem from the year 1913, when its predecessor was established in Gent, Belgium. This process will be described later in further details while analysing the centennial history of the orga- nization. The worker sport movement was regard- ed as a revolutionary one at the beginning of


1) Kruger, A. & Riordan, J. (eds.) (1996) The Story of Worker Sport. Human Kinetics. Champaign. Illinois.

part one_CHAPTER 1

the development of modern sport. The pio- neers of the movement did not want to iden- tify themselves to the bourgeois type of sport connected with higher social classes and which emphasized tough competitive perfor- mance in sport. They wanted sport for all without any segregation by age, gender, oc- cupation, wealth and ethnic background. They regarded worker sport as part of their grand ideologies on society along with peace, democracy, equality and solidarity. As it has been shown in the beginning of this chapter, this alternative way to contribute to sport attracted workers in the 1920s and 1930s more than the Olympic Games did at the same period. We could speculate about what the role and status of worker sport would be to- day if it weren’t for the Fascism and the Nazi regime in Europe before and during the Sec- ond World War. After the war, the international worker sport had to be re-established once again. It took place in 1946 in Brussels by founding the Comité Sportif International du Travail – the International Committee for the Workers Sport (CSIT). However, the role of the organi- zation remained internationally very weak after the war because its member unions had been destroyed in many European countries, as stated above. In addition, the Eastern Euro- pean countries with their worker sport did not want to collaborate with the CSIT because of the Cold War situation. It took over forty years before new winds

began to blow within and around the CSIT. By introducing its modern sport for all policy ap- proach, including an active international col- laboration strategy, the attractiveness of the CSIT began to grow in Europe, Americas, Afri- ca, and in the Far East. In addition to amateur based competitive sport, the emphasis was put on a holistic view of sport for all intended for adults, youth, elderly people, women, families and disabled people. The collaboration with the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE), the IOC and its Sport For All Coordinating Group as well as the European Non-Governmental Sport for All Or- ganization (ENGSO) began to bring results in terms of creating new networks of the CSIT. At the end of 2011 the CSIT consisted of 44 organizations belonging to different mem- bership categories from 34 countries. Out of all the organizations, 35 were full members from 28 countries, 3 (sub)continental mem- bers, 3 candidates for full membership and 3 applying for the member status. The CSIT had altogether over 208.260 million registered cli- ents and individual members in its action pro- grams. Out of them 5.270 million were indi- vidual members and 202.990 million were so called registered clients. The purpose of this book is to increase knowl- edge and understanding on sport in general and particularly about the development of in- ternational worker sport as part of the sport culture and society. The content has been divided into two

parts. First, the framework of consideration is described by introducing the reader to sport as a social phenomenon. Then a broad de- scription is presented on sport as a part of modern peace movement and conflict solving. Part one is finished by introducing a socio- logical model which describes worker sport as a mass movement. The second part of the book focuses to the centennial development, current state and international sports partnerships of the CSIT. The study begins with the description of the historical development of the CSIT since 1913. A special attention is given to the empirical 20 years follow-up study on structures and func- tions of the organization. After that, women’s role as a future potential is viewed by using France and the French CSIT section FSGT as an illuminating example. The study is closed by the presentation of the current and future international collaborations and partnerships of the CSIT.



JOSEPH MAGUIRE / United Kingdom


The workers of the world got united through sports, especially during the impressing Workers Olympics.

Highest political representatives had an attractive stage during Workers Sport festivities.



The Workers Gymnasts had a leading role from the beginning until the present …

… so did the Workers Cyclists.

The younger generation – enthusiastic and excited, too.




In 1931 the 2 nd Workers Olympics attracted 77.000 active participants in the Austrian capital Vienna.

Winter sports were brought to the cities and raised the attention of the public.


SPORT AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON - Beyond the Boundaries

Introduction Any study of sport which is not a study of the society in which that sport is located is a study out of context. In order to make sense of soci- ety – and how sport both reflects and rein- forces societal structures and sub-cultures requires theoretical insight and empirical en- quiry. The facts about sport and society do not speak for themselves: sociological theories both help us make sense of our observations and assist in the development of an analysis and explanation for the patterns we observe. The interplay between theory and evidence lies at the heart of the sociological imagina- tion that seeks to make sense of history, biog- raphy and social structures. Hence, the study of sport sheds light both on the subcultures of different sports but also the society in which such sports are located. Through the seemingly mundane and unserious aspects of sport the sociologist can see the serious and significant aspects of soci- ety and the human condition. In what ways then can the social phenomenon of sport be measured? Clearly, there are economic, political, cul- tural and social elements to its significance – each of which may have positive or negative dimensions. For example, the consumption within the west of the performances of elite sport stars, either as representatives of the state or of private capital, is also linked to a sports industrial complex (SIC) whose com- modity chains are linked to the exploitative work practices of firms in south-east Asia, and

elsewhere (Maguire 2004, 2012a). Given this, in this chapter I want to consider the socio- cultural significance of sport, especially in light of the mission of the International Work- ers and Amateurs in Sports Confederation (CSIT) that emphasises equality and solidarity in sports. Sport actions of the past have devel- oped into our contemporary sport practices, just as our actions of today shape what may come tomorrow. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to others, to share good practice, to use the sporting arena on land and sea wise- ly, and to cherish body cultures and traditions from across the globe. In doing so, we can work together towards shaping sport cultures that are better for individuals, communities, and the environment: that balance our local needs with global interdependence. That is the chal- lenge that faces all of us, including the CSIT. Here, then, I intend to highlight two main issues: how the work of sport is socially constructed and involves systems of produc- tion and consumption that are marked by varying degrees of equality and exploitation, solidarity and division; and, while workers of/ in sport represent their club, firm, brand, and nation, they also, on occasions, by their ac- tions transcend these features of the SIC, and come to embody messages about hope, equal- ity and fairness. This, then, is also part of the social phenomenon of sport. The Social Significance of Sport The social significance of sport can be high- lighted in various ways – whether it be the

JOSEPH MAGUIRE / United Kingdom


part one_CHAPTER 2

symbolic use of the sport of rugby union by Nelson Mandela to attempt to overcome divi- sions with South Africa or of the military jun- ta in Argentina and its use of the 1978 men’s FIFA World Cup. Also illustrative of the sig- nificance of sport are the comments made by the French President Jacques Chirac, follow- ing the English rugby union victory in the 2003 Men’s World Cup, when he wrote to the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair: ‘Rare- ly have I seen a match of such commitment and intensity. This deserved victory is also a victory for Europe’. The reality of European culture is more complex than these comments suggest and two important caveats concern- ing sport, identity, and being European, need to be made. Sport both unites, and divides ‘us’ (Maguire 2012b). Chirac was correct to point to the intensity of this match, and sport mat- ters in forming ‘our’ habitus: ‘our’ identities and ‘sleeping memories’ that compose indi- vidual and collective consciousness. Indeed, the cradle for the emergence and development of modern sport is in European culture – its content and meaning are embedded in its lu- dic traditions and cultural values more broad- ly. That’s why sport matters in European life. Sport is a form of symbolic dialogue: it sym- bolizes the strict requirements of how a dia- logue should be conducted and involves a dra- matic representation of who they think they are and who they would like to be. Furthermore, sport stadia are theatres in which people experience a range of pleasur- able emotions and exciting significance: the

excitement of the well played-game, but its significance lying in the fact that sport is a fo- rum in which communal self-revelation oc- curs. That is, modern sport is a form of sur- rogate religion in which there occurs the communal discovery of who we are and what Europeans stand for. Hence, why a handball incident involving French footballer Thierry Henry in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match mattered not only to the people of Ire- land, but to Europeans more generally. How- ever, at another level, Chirac was wrong. For the English, the rugby victory symbolised the old Empire striking back and had nothing to do with being European. The social signifi- cance of sport is thus highly contested. That is, at this stage in the (re)integra- tion of ‘Europe’, identities are still more firm- ly rooted in the locality, regionality and na- tionality that makes up the European continent. In this regard, sport contests rein- force and express ‘invented traditions’, ‘imag- ined communities’ and national habitus – even more so as the evident tensions in the current Eurozone crisis have re-awakened older enmities and rivalries. ‘Europe’ may play golf against the USA in the Ryder and Solheim Cups, and the globalisation of sport has blurred the boundaries of the nation and iden- tity, yet, it is still the passion of patriot games that underpins international sport, reinforces nationalism and can lead to an aggressive as- sertiveness of who ‘we’ are against ‘them’. Football hooliganism is better controlled within stadia, but the social mores that give

rise to such encounters remain features of a range of societies. In contrast to these aspects of global sport, Nelson Mandela has observed that ‘sport is a viable and legitimate way of build- ing friendship between nations’ and a UN re- port concluded that ‘sport brings individuals and communities together, highlighting com- monalities and bridging cultural and ethnic divides’ (Maguire 2012a). Sport, as a form of intercultural dialogue, has the potentiality to extend emotional identification between members of different societies and civilisa- tions, but it also fuels rivalry and de-civilising counter-thrusts. How, and in what ways, this contradictory role is played out requires both much greater empirical investigation and firmer evidence based policy formation at a European level. Sport then acts as a social glue and as a toxic. Let me explore this significance of sport a little more closely. In examining the phenomenon of sport it is clear that performances emerge and develop in a network of numerous structural determi- nants and processual conditions. That is, the practical craft and creativity of sport involves a mutual relationship of interdependence with wider structured processes. Given this, it is nec- essary to probe the production, distribution and reception of athletic performances. While the performances of Rafael Nadal is very differ- ent from that of Pablo Picasso, each are per- ceived as uniquely gifted individuals, excep- tions who stand outside of general social structures. However, the products of their


brilliance, and the recognition and reception of their work, are deeply connected to social pro- cesses. In emphasizing the cultural making of sport, this is not to destroy the notion of ge- nius, or downplay the creativity, expressive- ness, existential experiences and symbolic features that are part of the sports world. In fact, sport stars hold powerful functions for the societies they represent – after all, societies ‘make them’. While the British ‘gave’ modern sports to the world, over the course of the second half of the twentieth century, the decline of Great Britain, in political and economic terms, was matched by their amateur performances on the playing fields (Maguire 2012b). Old rivals got better and new competitors overtook them in the de- veloping sporting international rank order. This was due, in part, to the adoption by the Soviet Bloc, from the 1950’s onwards, of a sci- entific, highly rationalized and technologized system for the identification and production of sport talent. This approach was exemplified by the sports system developed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Key elements of this system involved the scientifically orga- nized and rational selection of boys and girls in early childhood; excellent facilities and a highly planned approach to coaching and training; extensive networks of support by sci- entists from different branches of the natural and social sciences; and, a very specific focus The Making of Sport Work: Systems of Production and Consumption

on achieving success in specific sports where success was more likely and where there was some tradition of German involvement. This system, with local modifications, was adopted by Australia and Canada, in the 1980’s onwards and, in the build-up to Lon- don 2012, the British have adopted a model not dissimilar to that followed by the GDR. However, as more and more nations adopt some or all of the elements outlined, competi- tion intensifies: sporting success has become the equivalent of an ‘arms race’ in which ever greater resources have to be invested in order to maintain or improve the position of the na- tion in the medal table. What then are the cur- rent ingredients for the production of sport- ing success in the twenty-first century? There are increasing similarities between countries and a formal standardised model of elite sport development has emerged, which has been modified to suit local histories, cul- tural sensitivities and contemporary political circumstances. Several key elements of this standardised model have been identified and have been drawn together in three clear ‘clus- ters’ (Houlihan and Green, 2008; Green and Oakley, 2006). Clearly, the initial concern is with the availability of funding and resources that can be derived from the state and/or the private sector but must be of a level that en- sures that athletes can be employed ‘full-time’ (the days of elite amateur athletes are long gone). Resource issues relate also to the qual- ity, access and provision of scientific/medical knowledge.

The efficiency of this investment also re- lates to whether a system of rational, bureau- cratic planning and administration exists. Such a system is a necessary component as it enables effective administration to exist with- in and between different agencies and depart- ments involved in the process. Such an ap- proach ensures that effective priorities are set, detection and identification undertaken, monitoring accomplished, and that ‘objective’ evaluation occurs. Talent can be detected, re- sources allocated, rewards distributed and support provided. These concerns apply to the athlete, the coach and the sports administra- tor. In order to build these capacities there has to exist well-structured competitive pro- grammes and highly tailored facilities that serve the needs of specific sports. Without these, nations who do produce talent tend to find that there is a ‘brawn drain’, where such talent is attracted to other countries to train, compete in and, in specific instances, com- pete for other nations. In contrast, athletes can also be recruited from other countries to represent the nation – this has, in the past, been done on an ad hoc basis, but with the 2012 London games looming, a more system- atic approach regarding the recruit of foreign migrant athletes was adopted, not without some debate and controversy regarding issues of identity, citizenship and the omission of native born athletes. The British are not alone in turning migrant labour into ‘naturalised’ citizens to represent other nations than their ‘homeland’.


part one_CHAPTER 2

The processes outlined have developed to such a degree that it can now be said that a SIC underpins the identification and production of talent in advanced industrial societies – all of which raises questions for those concerned with the rights of workers. This complex has four key dimensions: structural, ideological, cultural and institutional. In structural terms, several key groups, including state agencies, transnational corporations, non-governmen- tal agencies and sport associations are in- volved. A mix of state and TNC’s are involved in global sport. In ideological terms, states use global sports, and national stars, to promote the values and status of the nation, both inter- nally and externally. National traditions still mean much to people and governments use sports performers both to promote interna- tional prestige and to foster ‘soft diplomacy’. The institutional framework of this complex involves at least four main elements: sports medicine, sports science, sports science sup- port programmes and regional / national cen- tres of excellence. It is in the institutional di- mension that sports stars are actually identified, selected and developed. The ratio- nale and funding underpinning such research ensures that attention is directed at identify- ing factors that: maximise the development of talent; generate efficient training regimes; contribute to rational performance systems; identify effective recuperation programmes; and highlight strategies that enable perform- ers to cope with pain and injury experiences. Highly rationalized and technologized physi-

cal and mental training methods, and scien- tifically evaluated and scheduled fitness re- gimes, are designed to produce optimum performance and thereby reinforce the overall impact of the SIC in the quest for sporting success. The structure of the global SIC thus in- volves mechanisms of production, experience and consumption: the identification and de- velopment of talent; its production on a glob- al stage, in a single or multi-sport event; and its consumption by direct spectators or, through the media complex, by a global mass audience. Traced over time, there is a tenden- cy towards the emergence of a global achieve- ment sport monoculture in which administra- tors, coaches, sports scientists, and teachers promote achievement sport values and ideolo- gies, and competitions and tournaments are structured along highly commodified and ra- tionalised lines. Sport has to be worked at and for. But why do such workers mean so much to people? Sports Stars and Society: Social Glue, Soft Power and Cultural Diplomacy A champion athlete is someone who is the first among all contestants or competitors and in this regard, the word refers to the ability of an individual or team to win a contest or championship. Yet, the origin of the word in- dicates a different usage and offers a clue as to why champions are so much more important to society than just their ability to win and

why such meaning is attached to them. Its first usage emerged in the context of the me- dieval tournament and referred to the person who would act as a champion of others; who would defend, support or champion a cause (see Gilchrist 2005; Hughson 2009 and Tän- nsjö 2007). Athletes are not simply champions of their sport, but also of their local commu- nity and nation and sometimes, humanity as a whole. An example of this par excellence is Muhammad Ali (Hauser 1992). A champion is said to possess special gifts and exude a cer- tain charisma: they perform ‘miracles’ and achieve the seemingly impossible. They are society’s modern heroes: symbolic representa- tions of cultural values and who we would wish people to be. Champions are talented in- dividuals but as heroes they are people whose lives tell stories about ourselves, to ourselves, but also to people from other nations (see Huizinga 2000). Hence, states are interested in sport stars not only to act as a form of social capital domestically, but also because their work acts as a form of prestige enhancement and cultural diplomacy in foreign policy terms. Champions allow us to catch a glimpse of what we could be: by representing us they make us vicariously fulfilled human beings. They are our modern heroes because sport has become the forum in which communal self- revelation occurs (Algozin 1976). That is, modern sport is a form of popular theatre in which there occurs the communal discovery of who we are. Sports stadia are contemporary


venues in which we can observe champions as heroes and experience the ‘sacred’, moments of exciting significance, while leaving behind the profaneness of ordinary life (Maguire et al. 2002). Society thus needs its champions as he- roes. They perform the manifest function of achieving sporting success for themselves and their local community and nation. But they also perform a more latent role: they are meant to embody the elements that a society values most. As idealised creations, they pro- vide inspiration, motivation, direction and meaning for people’s lives. Champions as he- roes act to unify a society, bringing people to- gether with a common sense of purpose and values. That is how modern sport developed, especially in its gendered forms. Pioneers of the nineteenth century linked sport to male muscular Christianity: unselfishness, self-re- straint, fairness, gentlemanliness and moral excellence. This was itself supplementing tra- ditional notions of chivalry: honour, decency, courage and loyalty. There are, however, threats to the mani- fest and latent functions of champions as he- roes. This stems from issues associated with authenticity and integrity. The status of the champion relies upon the authenticity of the contest. If the contest is tarnished by corrup- tion, cheating, betting scandals or when rep- resenting a nation or system regarded as an enemy, then the hero is diminished in our eyes. The contest is no longer either a mutual quest for excellence or societies forum in which communal self-revelation occurs. This

lack of authenticity also occurs when the sport becomes too make-believe, is rigged or be- comes too predictable. Professional wrestling may produce ‘champions’ but they are not taken seriously, and they are not our heroes (Stone 1971). The champion as hero also, as noted, embodies the elements that a society holds most dear. But, the integrity of the champion may also be undermined in several ways. The champion may be a flawed genius – either due to the fact that they suffer from hubris and feel they need not dedicate them- selves to the level and intensity of preparation and performance required, and/or because their private lives intrude on their status as heroes. Here, the example of George Best springs to mind. Our idealized image of him as a footballer is shattered, though in the case of Best, we still mourn his death in a profound expression of grief. In addition, our champi- ons may be less heroes and more celebrities – they are famous but not heroic. David Beck- ham may be seen in this light (Cashmore 2004). If this be the case, such fame is short lived and they fail one of the tests of a cham- pion as hero – the test of time. In order to un- derstand why champions mean so much to us and what impact they have, we have to con- sider the role sport plays in society. Sport, then, is both a separate world, and a suspension of everyday life, yet it is also highly symbolic of the society in which it ex- ists. In the context of sport we can both expe- rience a form of exciting significance that we rarely, if ever, encounter in our daily lives, and

also conduct a symbolic dialogue with fellow participants and spectators that reveals things about ourselves and others. We are laid bare in sport in a way which we cover up in everyday life. Sport is a modern morality play that re- veals fundamental truths about us as individ- uals, our societies and our relations with oth- ers. Sport, then, moves us emotionally and matters to us socially (Maguire et al. 2002). That sport performs these functions relates to several reasons that dovetail with and high- lights the role of champions. One of the principal features of sport is the construction and consumption of pleasur- able forms of excitement (Elias and Dunning, 1986). People enjoy various kinds of spontane- ous, elementary, unreflective yet pleasurable excitement in increasingly rule-governed and risk-averse societies. In sport, whether as par- ticipant or spectator, people quest for this con- trolled decontrolling of emotions. Here, emo- tions flow freely and in a manner that elicits or imitates the excitement generated in real life situations. Sports, then, are mimetic ac- tivities that provide a ‘make-believe’ separate setting that allows emotions to flow more eas- ily. This excitement is elicited by the creation of tensions that can involve imaginary or con- trolled ‘real’ danger, mimetic fear and/or plea- sure, sadness and/or joy. This controlled de- controlling of excitement allows for different moods to be evoked in this make-believe set- ting that are the siblings of those aroused in real-life situations. Our champions are identi- fied with – in terms of their technical accom-


part one_CHAPTER 2

longed to an age, as it seems in retro- spect, when we still seemed to win. The reverse of our present predicament – losing on the economy, losing on jobs, losing on law and order – even losing to India [at cricket]: unshaven despondent Gooch, in brutal contrast to clean-cut triumphant Moore (Guardian, July 28 th 1993, p. 2).

plishments but also in terms of the emotions they, and thus, we, go through, in terms of a well-played game or thrilling contest. Tie-breaks in tennis, penalty shoot-outs in football and sudden death play-offs in golf evoke a range of emotions, so much so that by the end of the contest we are emotionally drained. And, unlike a well performed play or well-acted film, we know that what we were witnessing in sport is real and that the out- come was not determined beforehand. Some- times, our champions fulfil their own and our dreams but, on other occasions, the tragedy of defeat must be endured. A champion, such as Rafael Nadal, on entering Centre Court at Wimbledon can observe a plaque that displays Rudyard Kipling’s poem If . The poem notes, that when you meet triumph and disaster you have to meet those impostors just the same. Only when sports are associated with matters of deep cultural and personal signifi- cance do they then become important to fans (Nixon and Frey, 1996). Major sporting events are thus mythic spectacles where fans are pro- vided the opportunity for collective participa- tion and identification that serves as a means of celebrating and reinforcing shared cultural meanings. It is precisely because sports are a separate world that suspends the everyday world, that they are able to celebrate shared cultural meanings that are expressed through and embodied by champions. The anthem, the emblem and the flag associated with sporting contests highlights how champions represent the nation (Maguire and Tuck 1999). The Eng-

land World Cup team of 1966 became world champions but also have had a collective hero- ism attached to them. Their success has stood the test of time – it still moves English fans. But it is perhaps the iconic images of Bobby Moore that remain etched in people’s minds. This gives a clue to the fact that the symbol- ism of sport, and the role played by the cham- pion, is even deeper than mere nationalism and patriotism. Bobby Moore symbolised something more than winning (Powell, 2002). The reaction to his death highlighted that his sporting performances evoked something deeper about English culture and identity. Take the following example:

Leading on from such observations it is argu- ably the case that if social life can be conceived of as a game through which identities are es- tablished, tested and developed, then sports can be viewed as idealised forms of social life. Its rules and codes of play (such as in golf eti- quette) allow for a fair contest and a true test of ability. The ‘true’ champion, playing an au- thentic match, with integrity, is the best ex- pression of this. In this context it is thus pos- sible to establish an identity with greater consensual and authentic certainty than in social life itself. We insist on the authenticity and integrity of the contest – on the strict for- mal rules and their fair enforcement – because we want any differences of worth between us to be based on merit (see Morgan and Meier, 1988). In real life our class, race, gender or re- ligion interfere and rig the game of social life and its outcomes. As such, its victors and los- ers are profane deceptive illusions. But, on the field of play, sport outcomes are sacred, they are real and authentic. That is also why cham- pions seek to beat fellow champions: that is the true test. Honour and respect are not

The grief – stricken tributes of the past two days to the former England football captain Bobby Moore represent some- thing more than a general mourning for a great sporting hero... detectable with- in them is another kind of mourning: for a world as it seems looking back, when things sometimes used to go right... Our streets are less safe than they were 30 years ago, our world reputation less glowing, our monarchy less revered, our sportsmen less sporting... The word of an English gentleman [sic] is no longer his bond in the way it was when Eng- land conquered the world. What this evidence really describes is a nation ill at ease with itself... That made the pictures of Moore yester- day... especially poignant. They be-



achieved by knowing in advance that you will beat inferior opponents. The on-field hand- shake between Bobby Moore and Pele during the 1970 World Cup match between England and Brazil symbolises such honour and re- spect. The ‘hand-of-god goal’ scored against England by Diego Maradona, wonderful play- er though he was, does not. Sport is thus a symbolic dialogue: it sym- bolizes the strict requirements of how a dia- logue should be conducted (Ashworth, 1971). Sport, then, involves a dramatic representa- tion of who we are and who we would like to be. The stadia is a theatre in which we experi- ence a range of pleasure emotional and excit- ing significance: the excitement of the played- game, uncertain as to its outcome but its significance lying in what we have invested in it emotionally, morally, socially. Our champi- ons as our heroes express both the myths, and revered social values of a society, and the sports ethic that underpins involvement in sport (Coakley, 2003). They have to take risks, to exhibit the hallmarks of bravery and cour- age and show integrity. That is why we re- member them but not necessarily the work processes outlined here that underpin their construction as part of the sports industrial complex.

Algozin, K. (1976). Man and Sport. Philosophy Today , 20: pp. 190 – 195. Ashworth, C. (1971). “Sport as Symbolic Dialogue.” In The Sociology of Sport ,

edited by E. Dunning, pp.40-46. Cass: London. Cashmore, E. (2004). Beckham . Oxford: Polity.

Coakley, J. (2003). Sports in Society . 8 th edition. New York: McGraw Hill. Elias, N and Dunning. E. (1986). Quest for Excitement: Sport and Leisure in the Civilising Process. Oxford: Blackwell. Gilchrist, P. (2005). Local Heroes or Global Stars? In The Global Politics of Sport: The Role of Global Institutions in Sport , edited by L. Allison, pp. 118-139. London: Routledge. Green, M. and Oakley. B. (2001). Elite Sport Development Systems and Playing to Win: Uniformity and Diversity in International Approaches. Leisure Studies 20, no. 4: pp. 247-267. Hauser, T. (1992). Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times. New York: Simon & Schuster. Houlihan, B and Green, M. (eds). 2008. Comparative Elite Sport Development. London: Butterworth. Hughson, J. (2009). On Sporting heroes. Sport in Society 12, no. 1: pp.85-101. Huizinga, J. (2000). Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. London: Routledge. Maguire, J and Tuck. J. (1999). Making Sense of Global Patriot Games: Rugby Players Perceptions of National Identity Politics. Football Studies 2: pp.26–54. Maguire, J. (1999). Global Sport. Identities, Societies and Civilizations Oxford: Polity Press. Maguire, J. (2004). Challenging the Sports-Industrial Complex: Human Sciences, Advocacy and Service.” European Physical Education Review 10, no. 3: 299-321. Maguire, J. (2005). Power and Global Sport: Zones of Prestige, Emulation and Resistance. Routledge: London. Maguire, J. Jarvie, G. Mansfield, L. and Bradley, J. (2002). Sport Worlds: A Sociological Perspective. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics. Maguire, J. (2012a). Reflections on Process Sociology and Sport: ‘Walking the Line’ : London: Routledge. Maguire, J. (2012b). Europeans Body Cultures and the Making of the Modern World: Zones of Prestige and Established-Outsider Relations. Human Figurations 1, 1, pp. 1-16. Morgan, W. and Meier, K. (eds). (1988). Philosophic Inquiry in Sport. Champaign, Ill.: Human Kinetics. Nixon, H and Frey. J. (1996). A Sociology of Sport. Boston: Wadsworth. Powell, J. (2002). Bobby Moore: The Life and Times of a Sporting Hero. London: Robson Books. Stone, G. (1971). Wrestling: The Great American Passion Play. In The Sociology of Sport , edited by E. Dunning, pp. 301-335. London: Cass. Tännsjö, T. (2007). Is our Admiration for Sports heroes Fascistoid? In Ethics in Sport. edited by W.J. Morgan. Pp. 429-440. Champaign, Il: Human Kinetics.


Football excited the crowds of spectators all over Europe.






Thousands of athletes entering the brand new “Prater Stadium” in Vienna.



Equality and female participation are one of the core values of the CSIT.

National activities and the visions of a few built the basis for the international network.



Large-scale choreographies for the masses.

Trumpets accompanied the parades of athletes.



Introduction Sports have always had a complex, contradic- tory relationship to social conflict. For much of human history, the athletic competitions and tests of physical strength we associate with sports today have been directly linked to ag- gression, conquest and subordination. Among the classical Greeks, whose sacred games have given us the paradigm of the modern Olym- pics, ‘athletics were preparation for war, war preparation for athletics’. The skills and ideol- ogy of predatory masculinity that they glori- fied prepared men for combat and contributed to the system of misogynist slavery that en- abled the Greek city states (Kidd 1984, Golden 2011). The same could be said about the jousts and tournaments of the feudal period: the technologies, organizations and values they stimulated were inextricably bound up with medieval warfare and the process of creating and policing the class, gender, ethnic and reli- gious hierarchies of those societies. In the modern era, there has been a con- certed, on-going effort to reduce the violence of sports, a consequence of the larger process sociologist Norbert Elias (2000) called the ‘civilizing process’. Most sports today are sig- nificantly less violent and safer than their an- tecedents a century ago (Elias and Dunning, 1986). But they still encourage a martial spirit, exploit the ideologies of difference and in- equality, and fuel the passions of war. During World War One, sporting events in many countries were sites of intense propaganda and were used to recruit soldiers and workers

to the war effort; the symbolic ties of sport to the military are renewed in the ceremonies of major championships to this day. Sport also continues to contribute to other discourses of hatred and subordination, especially misogy- ny and racism (Coakley 2001). In the former Yugoslavia, the Red Star Belgrade football fans’ organization drove the militant Serbian nationalism that contributed to the genocidal civil war (Foer 2004). Yet during each of these same periods, sports have also occasioned truce and diplo- macy. The best known instance is the ‘Olym- pic truce’ of classical antiquity, which sought to ensure safe passage for athletes and specta- tors travelling to the Olympic Games, and pro- hibited the invasion of Elis, the city state where Olympia was located, during the period of the Games. Then as now, the Olympics were a site of backroom diplomacy between the as- sembled elites. The archaeologist Stephen Miller (2012) has even argued that the condi- tions of classical athletics, especially the nu- dity of competitors, contributed to the idea of isonomia , ‘the same law for everybody’, and the development of democracy. In the late nineteenth century, one of Pierre de Coubertin’s goals in creating modern Olympic Games was to spur the formation of international networks that would generate a critical mass of intercultural understanding that would serve as a brake on war. As Dietrich Quanz (1993) has shown, Coubertin was deep- ly influenced by the international peace move- ment. In the first winter of World War One, the



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